Kickstarter

This week, Tilman Fertitta meets with Giovanna Gabuzzi and Alejandra Ratto of Mar-Tea-Na.

Mar-Tea-Na is an organic, all-natural tea company that uses fresh fruit to create a variety of flavor fusions. According to their website, they “have perfected [the] recipes to maximize the benefits of tea while enhancing the balance between your body and mind. Our purpose is to provide a positive lifestyle, one tea at a time.” The flavors, which have various health benefits, include ac-tea-ve, tea-ffa-ny, tea-tox and more.

Fertitta meets the duo at their food truck and tries some of the flavors. He says the chai tea tastes like cinnamon, while he calls the hibiscus tea his favorite. He thinks the flavors are “delightful” overall.

The founders raised more than $15,000 on Kickstarter in 2016. Last year, they did $4,000 in revenue. Currently, the workload that each one contributes is unbalanced, which has put a strain on Giovanna and Alejandra’s friendship.

After Fertitta expresses concerns over the tea needing to be handmade every day, the duo proposes bottling the tea—making a deal more of a possibility. Fertitta then introduces them to a copacker that could produce 30,000 units per week. The duo proposes a lower quantity at about 1,000 bottles, which is still a bit too high of a cost for them at $3,000. The co-packing facility proposes a higher volume to lower the costs. They propose crowdfunding the $3,000. After going through the campaign, they fall short of their goal and Giovanna ends up bottling some of the tea by hand.

On deal day, the founders present Fertitta with the bottles. He likes the “millennial” look and appreciates that their story is featured on the back. They present him with a bid of 10,000 bottles at $3 per bottle. He says they are not ready to scale given their poor pro forma and quickly notices that the duo has not worked through their issues. They assure him they are both in it 100 percent, but he’s not convinced.

Ultimately, he says he cannot do a deal with them but offers to do 5,000 bottles at $3 each if they can get someone else to do the other 5,000 bottles. Two weeks later, Alejandra is out and Giovanna focuses on doing a subscription model for local businesses to ensure the deal is completed.

See how social media reacted to Mar-Tea-Na on “Billion Dollar Buyer” below:

Social Media Reacts to Mar-Tea-Na’s Appearance on “Billion Dollar Buyer”

According to CNBC, the reality television show “introduces promising companies across the country to one of America’s most successful businessmen: billionaire hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta, Chairman, CEO, and sole shareholder of Landry’s, Inc.” Featured entrepreneurs present their small business to Fertitta in the hopes that he will place a large purchase order. But before they make their pitch, they must prove to the hospitality mogul that their product is worth it through challenges and customer feedback.

What are your thoughts on Mar-Tea-Na? Did you like Fertitta’s offer? Sound off in the comments section below!